Chances of winning quarter pusher games
You can find quarter pushers, flip-it machines, or coin pushers in casinos, on cruise ships, and even in some convenience stores.
The odds of winning on a quarter pusher can vary due to the temperature, humidity, dirtiness of the coins (which adds additional friction), and the tilt angle the machine is set to. Manufacturers typically recommend a payout of 70%
. Too low would cause people to stop playing, and too high would cause the owner to lose money.
What 70% means is that for every 25 cents you put in, the probability of getting another quarter is 0.70*25 = 17.5 cents
. So yes, the house has an edge over you, and most machines now have tilt alarms, that go off if you try to tilt the machine.
Tips and tricks to win quarter pushers
While you can't tilt the machine to win, you can just wait for the machine to spit out quarters due to vibrations, or if you're on a cruise ship, wait for rough waters. I made $3 on a recent Carnival Cruise ship just by checking the win tray every time I walked through the casino. I didn't even have to play to win!
One way they try to lure you in is by stacking dollar bills on top of the quarters to make it look like you can win a lot of money. On cruise ships though, they always move the stacks of bills to the backside of the machine at the end of every cruise, implying that your chances of winning these bills are next to none, unless you play it for days straight.
Another strategy is to use metal washers instead of quarters. They are significantly cheaper, but this will probably result in getting you kicked out of the venue.
If you're lucky, you can win the quarter pushers without even playing!
By Brian Roizen